Delta Restores Same-Sex Love Scenes to 'Booksmart,' 'Rocketman'

Booksmart-Publicity Still-H 2019
Annapurna Pictures

“We are immediately putting a new process in place for managing content available through Delta’s in-flight entertainment," a Delta spokesperson said.

After facing public censure from director Olivia Wilde and others, Delta has restored same-sex love scenes to Booksmart and Rocketman on the inflight versions of its films.

“We are immediately putting a new process in place for managing content available through Delta’s in-flight entertainment," Delta spokesperson Emma Protis said Friday evening in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "Studios often provide videos in two forms: a theatrical, original version and an edited version. We selected the edited version and now realize content well within our guidelines was unnecessarily excluded from both films. We are working to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

"Thank you, @delta," Wilde tweeted in response to the news.

Protis added that Annapurna and Paramount are providing the airline a "special Delta edit" that will include same-sex love scenes in the studios' respective films Booksmart and Rocketman. The airline adds that it has titles including same-sex romances Gentleman Jack, Imagine Me and You and Moonlight on their flights. A third-party company edits Delta movies, not the airline itself.

The change in policy comes two days after Wilde tweeted a thread criticizing the edited version of her 2019 film Booksmart and questioning why "female sexuality" was policed by a third-party company. "What message is this sending to viewers and especially to women? That their bodies are obscene? That their sexuality is shameful?," Wilde wrote. "I urge every airline, especially those who pride themselves on inclusivity, to stop working with this third party company, and trust the parental advisory warning to allow viewers to opt out if they choose."

In one scene of Booksmart, co-lead actor Kaitlyn Dever makes out with another woman in a bathroom, a scene that was largely cut from the original Delta edit (that particular cut showed some brief kissing). Wilde added that she noticed that mentions of "vagina" and "genitals" were cut out from the airplane edit she saw, as well as a stop-motion scene involving naked dolls. 

Etihad and Emirates Airlines, both from the Middle East, have additionally censored Booksmart in its airline edits.

Also earlier this week, several social media users criticized a Delta cut of the Elton John biopic Rocketman, noting that sex scenes and even a kissing scene was missing from the airplane edit. 

Booksmart stars Beanie Feldstein and Dever have been outspoken in their opposition to the airplane edit of their film. “Our movie is a beautiful representation of the queer experience as young people,” Feldstein said on a red carpet event earlier this week. “So we’re getting to the bottom of it, don’t worry.”

Added Dever, "I don’t even know what to say to that. That makes me so mad."